It’s Friday night.
You’ve had a long week and are dying to go do something fun, dazzling and exciting. You scan the local calendar for music, art or dancing, but don’t see anything that tickles your fancy. You text a friend to see if they’d be up for a night out, but they already have plans. You prod your partner for a date night but they are already in their PJ’s.
You sigh, flop down on the couch, and resign yourself to a boring night in.
Perhaps you enjoy boring nights in (I often do!), but you still long for exciting, enticing invitations that will create meaningful connections and lasting memories.
Does this experience sound familiar?
Are you waiting for the social life fairy to bonk you on the head with her wand?
When I moved to from New York City to the Blue Ridge Mountains two years ago, I know I sure was. I spent many weekend nights alone, frustrated, wishing for my N.Y. days of spontaneously meeting up with a friend for a late night at the 24 hour spa, or gathering for Sunday brunch and eating exotic food that I still can’t properly pronounce.
Living in a smaller city has pleasantly shaped me in many ways. It has made me less impulsive and more responsible. I am so much happier with so much less. I’m not constantly chasing the comet’s tail of excitement wherever it will lead, and I feel so much more content with who I am.
But no matter where I live, my culture loving, razzle-dazzle, inner Zelda Fitzgerald will always be alive and well in some capacity. And this is a woman with NEEDS.
I adore this quote from the New York Magazine column, Ask Polly:
“When you go from doing whatever comes up and hating it, to being a visionary socializer who makes inspired, exciting plans with people who are deeply craving new, more meaningful ways of interacting, your life will change.”
After reading that quote I realized that when it comes to my social life: I must be the party I wish to attend.
“But I don’t know how to throw a fabulous party! Besides, I don’t have that many friends!” are all thoughts that may be running through your mind, as they did mine.
What I have learned from my own experiment is two key things:
1. Anyone can throw a party, for any reason.
I’ve thrown heartbreak parties, sensual chocolate tasting parties, it’s-Tuesday-night-and-caramel-corn-exists-so-let’s-celebrate parties. It really doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Spending tons of money and cleaning the house within an inch of it’s life are not requirements to throw a great party. If you’ve warm bodies, focused attention and good lighting, you’re already ten steps ahead of the game.
2. Everyone you know is longing for meaningful, in-person connection.
In-person connection is a delicacy these days. We are DYING for a reason to get out of the virtual world and dive into real, live conversation. The best party memories are not made by the quality of cocktail napkins, they are made by the quality of connection between the people who attend. Remember this as your priority to prevent getting lost in the swirl of trying to create the perfect party. You already are the perfect party!
So, where to begin? Don’t worry doll, Kitty’s got you covered with eight jazzy, snazzy ideas to put this insight into action and be the party you wish to attend!
8 AWESOME PARTY IDEAS FOR GROWNUPS
Have everyone bring over their favorite spa products for a group spa night! You could even hire a massage therapist. Have everyone contribute $10-$20 and offer chair massage in another room while you and your friends catch up over cucumber water on the couch.
Sommelier Wine Tasting Party
Most local wine shops would be thrilled to have you come to their store (or may even be willing to come to you) to host a group wine tasting. Or to keep things more simple, ask each person to bring their favorite bottle of wine with them to the party, and to do a little research on it in advance, then share that info with the group!
Oracle Dance Party
If your friends are open to a bit of woo-woo comin’ through, gather for an Oracle Dance Party. You’ll need space to dance and an awesome playlist with different kinds of music. How it works: each person gets a turn to sit in the center of the circle and share for a few minutes on an area of their life where they need support. Then, you hit shuffle on the playlist, and everyone gets up to dance the full song, listening for messages as they move. The group then returns to the circle, and shares insights, messages or intuitions they received for that person in their dance. Credit to Rochelle Schieck and my Qoya family for this super fun, incredibly meaningful party experience!
Many lingerie boutiques will happily close early for a group to come in for a private shopping party. The staff will give you detailed attention and often offer fittings. You could even hire a burlesque dancer to come in and teach you some sensual moves to kick off the night! Tip: Bring your favorite shoes and do your hair and makeup to prepare. I always find my lingerie shopping feels infinitely more luxurious experience with these details attended to!
Arts and Crafts Party
Are you a sucker for the sight of construction paper and a glue stick? Does glitter make your heart beat a little faster? Does a watercolor set make you swoon? Host a gathering for creative playtime! You could make homemade greeting cards, art postcards, or just create art for arts sake!
D.I.Y. Dinner and Dancing
You serve the Hawaiian fare while one of your friends learns and teaches the basics of the hula. Or, you learn a few Flamenco steps and put your friends in charge of the Paella and Tempranillo. There are literally thousands of videos on YouTube to learn the basic steps of almost any kind of dance. Add a little regional dish and voila! A magical evening is born. Samba and caipirinhas here we come!
Invite each guest to dress up as their favorite historical figure. Light candles and say some prayers. One person sits in the center of the circle, and guests take turns asking questions of the person in the middle, who answers as the person they have dressed to honor!
Some of my most cherished parties have been celebrations of life’s most difficult moments. I have had breakup parties, divorce parties, parties to honor the dead, rage parties, you name it! Choosing to celebrate the dark times rather than pushing them away changes our perception of difficult moments. (The people of New Orleans do this so well.) Second line parade here we come!
I hope you enjoy these party ideas, and that they spark your own limitless imagination. What are some of the most memorable parties you’ve ever attended? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
Wiggling and Giggling,